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wed19apr9:30 amwed10:30 am9:30 am - 10:30 am COMMERCIAL ACTION GROUP - The Rise of the Employee Ownership Trust (Member Event)

Event Details

Ruth Kieran – CEO | Cirkle
Chris Wilson, Director – Head of Tax | Fortus

For a long time, the default exit strategy for a successful independent agency owner was to sell to one of the big networks or to private equity, but a trend has been building for a couple of years…. The rise of the Employee Ownership Trust. Most famously by Richer Sounds this approach is being picked up and ran with by agency-land.

As the Alliance of Independent Agencies this approach speaks more to our values. So what are they? How do you do them? and most importantly of all what does it mean for the employees?



Our Member Lead, Andrew Southcott (MD at Captivate Group) will be joined by Chris Wilson (Director – Head of Tax at Fortus) to look at the how & by Ruth Kieran (CEO of Cirkle) who have successfully completed an EOT process, to look at the why.

About our speakers:

Ruth Kieran has worked in the creative communications industry for over 25 years, in the UK and APAC. In 2022 Ruth was awarded PRCA’s PR Leader of the Year award and named by Campaign as one of its 40 over 40. With her career spent primarily agency-side creating campaigns for brands including Birds Eye, Costa, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Pizza Hut and Yahoo, she has also held senior leadership roles at agencies including Kindred, Lexis and Archetype. Ruth is passionate about positive change in the marketing and PR industry, having led all people activities for the Alliance of Independent Agencies as co-chair from 2020-22, and supports a range of industry initiatives including Career Ready, BME PR Pros and Brilliant Creative Minds. In 2022, Ruth successfully managed the agency’s sale to Accordience (previously Huntsworth) and now sits on its board with Group responsibility for ESG. When not at work, she will probably be on a bile – she recently cycled to Paris on behalf of retail charity, GroceryAid.

Chris Wilson is a Chartered Tax Advisor leading the bespoke tax consultancy service Fortus provide to their clients, owner managed businesses and individuals, focusing on corporate restructuring, IHT, CGT, and SDLT.
Having initially trained as an accountant in practice, Chris’s interest in tax steered his path. Much of his career has since been spent working in specialist tax advisory firms advising other tax professionals and their clients, latterly as an owner manager. He works closely with the Fortus tax team, business contacts and clients to create and deliver tailored tax planning solutions for both their business and personal requirements.

Throughout his tenure, Chris has delivered comprehensive tax advice to a number of construction industry clients, across all disciplines, on a range of complex and interesting transactions.

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